Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Texas and Scotland Meet...Down Under!

Balcones Distilling

Balcones Single Malt



Full Gold

Continuing with my Balcones exploration I decided to crack open the single malt last night.  It's listed as 53% and I figured a nice biggish whiskey would paired up with the latest episode of The Walking Dead would be the perfect way to end the evening.

A fruity, sweet, vanilla nose, with dusty cocoa, bananas, pears, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, some citrusy oranges, and a slight nuttiness.

Let's see if the palate matches up with the nose!

Very sweet whiskey!

Citrusy oranges, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, bananas, buttery apples, honey, more oranges, and cinnamon.

Very enjoyable, although a little too sweet for my palate.

A very long sweet finish, full of oranges, apples, other orchard fruits and vanilla ends the whiskey.

Personally this whisky is a little too sweet for my palate, but is still very enjoyable. 

The Balcones single malt has no age statement, but I personally reckon it's along the lines of a 2 to 3 year old whiskey, but that's very much a sneaky guess I could easily be wrong. 

Regardless I will be picking up a bottle of this in the near future.  Sometimes you just want a single malt that's not your typical Australian, Japanese or Scottish whisky and I think this whiskey fits the bill perfectly!  It retails at around $160-$170 AUS, so if you get the chance, try it before you buy it, because it is quite sweet.

Nose:       23/25
Palate:      21/25
Finish:      21/25
Balance:    19/25

Overall:    84/100

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Texas Goes Down Under With Style!

Balcones True Blue 100 Whisky

Whisky: Balcones True Blue Corn Whiskey

Balcones Distilling

Balcones True Blue




Still sitting here, playing with some interesting new corn whiskies from Texas.  It's the start of the week and it's already been a crazy one, so crazy in fact that I havent had any time to sit down and enjoy some good whiskies, so when I got home tonight, I decided that come hell or high water I was going to enjoy a dram by god!

So I'm sitting here watching American Gangster, staring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, with a dram of Balcones True Blue 100% in my hand and I'm really impressed.

Not just with the movie, which I already knew was good, but this whiskey, or to be more honest, with these corn whiskies. 

I'd always thought of corn whiskies as being moonshine, white lighting, high octane, unaged, alcohol that you used to just get completely smashed.

But instead I'm encountering a whiskey with startling complexity, much more complexity then I'd have thought.

The nose is surprisingly rich with mangoes, lychees, apricots, slight citrus, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, vanilla ice cream, covered in brown sugar, and dark cocoa powder.

Wow!  That's a huge step up from the normal 46% abv. 

Time for a taste!

Sweet, oodles of vanilla, dark chocolate, tobacco, oranges, caramel, couch leather, soft bananas, charred oak, cinnamon, nutmeg, buttered caramel popcorn and a hint of corn.

Very nice whiskey, very nice!  Totally enjoying this while I watch my movie.

The finish lingers for a long time, 4, 5 minutes after my last sip with again the rich vanilla, lots of dark chocolate and some fruity hints lurking in the background, trying to track what fruits down without success, all I know is that it's delicious!

It's a very dry whiskey, making you want to grab another dram, it is very good.  Too good in fact as I feel like I could drink it all night.

Running at roughly $150 AUS a bottle a whiskey like this makes it very easy to see why Balcones is considered one of the top American craft distilleries.  If you're looking for something delicious and a little bit different this just might be up your alley!

Nose:      23/25
Taste:      23/25
Finish:     23/25
Balance:   23/25

Overall:    92/100

Monday, 10 February 2014

Texas Goes Down....Under!

Whisky: Balcones Baby Blue Corn Whiskey

Balcones Distilling

Balcones Baby Blue




I'm starting to plan an American whiskey tasting for our club in Perth and being the odd man I am, I want a variety.  I don't want to do an American tasting based around just bourbons and ryes, I want single malts, corn whiskies and anything else cool.

With that in mind I gave the guys at H & R Craft Beverages, the importers of Balcones, a call about purchasing some samples.  A week later those samples arrived.

Balcones is the first whiskey to be legally distilled in Texas, and tends to be corn whiskies instead of bourbon and ryes.  The first whiskey to be tasted is Balcones Baby Blue, which is the entry level whiskey, made with Atole, a roasted blue corn meal.

In fact most of the whiskies in the Balcones range are corn whiskies, which makes me excited as variety is the spice of life!

The nose is young and spritely with the corn immediately evident!  My wife, brother in law and myself all blinked when we immediately picked up corn on the nose.

Corn, creamed corn, popcorn, toffee, bananas, toasted oak, and vanilla make it a nice and refreshing nose.

Time for a taste!

Baked apples, bananas, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, caramel, slight smoke and hints of corn make up the palate.

Very tasty whiskey! 

A surprisingly long sweet finis ends this whisky, with the caramel and vanilla seeing it through to the end.

This is a no age whisky, but I strongly suspect it's less then 5 years old and that's not a bad thing as those who know me will tell you, in fact it's an awesome thing.

This whisky is very smooth, a term that I honestly hate with whisky, but it's true.  There's no harshness that so many folks associate with young whiskies.  It just goes down so easily.

This Balcones normally retails for around $130 Aussie from everything I've been able to dig up, which isn't a bad price to pay for something a little bit different, but I don't think I'd ever use this whiskey as my normal every day session whiskey.

However now I'm REALLY interested in playing with the more advanced whiskies in the Balcones range!

Nose:      20/25
Taste:      20/25
Finish:     18/25
Balance:   19/25

Overall:    77/100